The Friends group was formed in 2004 and became very active, promoting the regeneration of the Ferry Glen and Back Braes areas which had fallen into a sorry state of disrepair from vandalism, littering and fly-tipping. Over time good relationships were built with the Council and other grant bodies allowing grant money to be raised for the refurbishment of the two areas.
Since the formation of the Friends Group a weekly litter pick has taken place every Monday, and is still maintained. In the early years of its work several tons of litter and fly-tipping were gradually removed and handed over to the Council’s Task Team. An exercise was also conducted in the bowl of the glen at the bottom of the waterfall where several years of fly-tipping were removed from the site. Today, the weekly litter pick keeps the area clean and largely litter free.
Since 2006 the Friends Group have planted some 70,000 bluebells in and around the glen. A proportion of these plantings have proved to be unsuccessful due to unsuitable soil or surroundings, but those planted on either side of the upper bridge by Ashburnham do seem to be gaining strength as time goes by. Plantings have also been made of wild primroses and anemome with limited success. The Few-flowered leek (not to be confused with wild garlic) is spreading along the north-facing bank in Ferry Glen. This is an invasive, non-native plant and forms a dense carpet of leaves in spring smothering any native species. The flower heads produce tiny bulbils that help it to spread, and it is increasingly common near coastal areas.
On the other hand small areas of snowdrops have taken successfully in and around the back braes, some planted by Primary School children. Immediately below the viewing platform plantings of Dutch Master and Golden Harvest varieties of daffodil make a colourful display in springtime and these are complemented by displays of tete-a-tete at the foot of the banking and along the cycleway.